Saints Anne and Joachim
St. Anne and St. Joachim (1st c. B.C.) are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the maternal grandparents of Jesus. Their names have been preserved in Church tradition since the second century, although little is known of their lives. It is believed that St. Joachim and St. Anne, although wealthy, lived a devout and simple life of voluntary poverty, chastity, and generosity to the poor. According to legend, after long years of suffering from infertility and praying for a child, Joachim and Anne were each separately visited by an angel in their old age, who announced that they would give birth to a very special child. Their moment of joy at this happy news is depicted with their embrace and kiss at the Golden Gate in Jerusalem. It was from their holy and chaste marriage that the Immaculate Conception was brought into the world. According to tradition, when the Child Mary was three years old, they dedicated her to God and presented her to live in the Jerusalem temple until the time of her betrothal to St. Joseph. St. Anne is the patroness of unmarried women, wives, expectant mothers, pregnancy, women in labor, grandmothers, childless couples, and against poverty and sterility. Women praying to meet their future spouse often turn to St. Anne. St. Joachim is the patron of fathers and grandfathers. Their feast day is July 26th.
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